309 Lancaster Avenue
Malvern Pa 19355
Overview: Authentic Southern barbecue. Eat in or take-out. BYOB. What more do you need to know???
Food: Jimmy’s is the real deal, with pork, ribs, chicken, brisket and more slow smoked on the premesis over hickory and cherry wood.
Three sauces are offered — Traditional (sweet), which is what you get if you just ask for sauce, Carolina Vinegar (which is more like a vinegary ketchup & sugar-based sauce you find in Texas than what you’ll get in NC), and Hot, which we have not tried but looks like a spicy version of the traditional. The standard sauce is way to thick and sweet for our tastes, but the vinegar sauce is quite good.
The pulled pork platter is served in torn chunks (not chopped), just the way we like it, and has a great smoke flavor. Our serving was hearty and even included quite a bit of the “bark”, or the highly seasoned outside of the shoulder. The pulled pork sandwich wasn’t quite as good, as the meat was chopped more finely and seemed a bit slim on the bun. It’s ok for bread to control a sandwich with a great french or italian artisinal loaf, but this is barbecue bread. Pile on the meat!
Ribs were dry-rubbed, just the way we like ‘em, with more great smoky taste. Though they weren’t the most tender ribs we’ve had, they mostly fell off the bone and tasted great with a dip of the vinegar sauce.
Though we don’t typically advocate ordering chicken at a BBQ pit, Jimmy’s unique chicken could just steal the show here. It’s rubbed with rosemary and lemon, which matches greatly with the cherry smoke flavors infused during cooking. Again the sandwiches could use a bit more meat, but the flavor here is all good.
Now, let’s talk sides. Jimmy’s mashed sweet potatoes are some of the best we’ve had at a barbecue joint, because they aren’t overloaded with sugar. He lets the natural flavor of the veggie shine through, and the mashed-but-lumpy texture is just right. Another winner is the mac & cheese, something we typically don’t get excited about, yet somehow kept reaching for more of Jimmy’s. The smoked beans were solid, but unspectacular, and perhaps a tad sweet. The coleslaw was the one disappointment from a side perspective; it was somewhat bland and underwhelming. Though slaw is an absolute requirement with barbecue, we’ll likely skip it next time for sweets or mac n cheese.
Ambiance: There really isn’t much — bright, open room with a big pig graphic on the wall, and, well, that’s about it. Casual, comfortable, great for families. Hey — this is a barbecue joint — the ambiance is the people and their messy fingers, not the decor.
Service: Friendly and helpful. The staff has seemed a bit overwhelemed at the response, but that seems to be getting better as they get more experience. Again, a casual, friendly spot.
Value: As is typical with barbecue joints, they give you a ton of food for a decent price. As mentioned above, we felt the sandwiches were a bit thin, but the platters pack more than enough food to fill your belly.
# of visits:2
reservations: not needed (counter service)